The trend lines have been headed toward each other for years and finally crossed in Q2: Cable companies had 49.915M broadband subs and 49.910M video ones at the end of June, Leichtman Research Group President Bruce Leichtman reports this morning. “With the addition of more than 30M broadband subscribers over the past decade, cable providers have clearly expanded well beyond their roots in cable TV service,” he says. The latest tally reflects cable’s loss of 509,954 video subs in the quarter that ended in June.
Cord cutting? Not entirely. Many likely switched to AT&T’s U-verse or Verizon FiOS, which together added 290,000 video customers. Satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network each lost customers, totaling 78,000. Adjusting for household growth “it appears that cord cutting slowed to an annualized rate of less than 400K homes, a meaningful deceleration and well below the peak (but still modest) rates of cord cutting seen in 2012,” MoffettNathanson Research’s Crag Moffett noted last week.
Cable operators aren’t crying. They picked up 381,657 Internet customers — accounting for a whopping 99% of all new wired additions vs their telco rivals who only added 2,083. Cable companies had 59% of the wired broadband market. The bottom line: The “‘dying dinosaur’ Pay TV industry is growing revenue more than twice as fast as the wireless industry,” Moffett says.
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